Buycombi – 2021 eBay Innovation Seller

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We are publishing the stories behind the 2021 eBay for Business Awards winners and the winner of the Innovation award is Donald Weeks and Buycombi.

In 2016 Donald spotted a gap in the market. Although his friends and family suggested he relax following his retirement, he instead had an idea to change the way the heating and plumbing industry repairs boilers by designing, manufacturing and selling his own patented product.
At 64 years old, starting a business on eBay and becoming his own boss changed his life. Five years, 2000 eBay sales, 200,000 YouTube views and one patent later, he has created Fit Once – the world’s first sustainable diverter valve.

Diverter valves are important parts of the boiler but frequently fail, with homeowners only noticing the problem once the boiler starts leaking. David’s invention allows the failed part of the component to be replaced, creating a more sustainable and cheaper option than is currently possible.

He put countless hours in learning how to design, 3D print and tweak his prototype until it was perfect. If it wasn’t for the positive feedback he received on eBay, Donald says he wouldn’t have had the energy to continue, but it eventually paid off.

The impact eBay has had on Donald’s life has been immeasurable. What started as a small business has transformed into a patented product of his own invention. He says it’s certainly not an ‘old man’s game’, but he is incredibly proud of what he has achieved. By 2022, Donald believes it would be realistic for Buycombi to be working alongside a large housing company to put Fit Once into every boiler in the country.

“I’m so pleased to have won the Innovation Award at this year’s eBay for Business Awards. I started Buycombi in my retirement, after being inspired to come up with a patented sustainable solution to the problem of faulty boiler valves. Like all small businesses, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs, but winning the Innovation Award is certainly a memorable up! I’m looking forward to developing our UK manufacturing business further with my son, Daniel, who is expanding export sales across the EU.”
– Donald Weeks, founder,


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